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Elon Musk's X ends partnership with Don Lemon before his new show even starts

Don Lemon got his first lesson in doing business with Elon Musk, the volatile owner of social media platform X.

Don Lemon got his first introduction to doing business with Elon Musk, the unpredictable owner of social media platform X.

The former CNN host interviewed Musk for the first episode of his new podcast, “The Don Lemon Show,” which was set to launch next week on X, previously known as Twitter, and other online platforms.

Lemon mentioned in an X post on Wednesday that Musk was unhappy with the interview and terminated the deal to broadcast the program on the platform.

The episode will be broadcast on YouTube and other platforms on Monday. Lemon also stated that he will upload the interview on X.

“This has not altered anything about the show except for my relationship with Elon and X,” Lemon stated in a video.

X revealed in January that it had an agreement to premiere “The Don Lemon Show” before it is accessible elsewhere.

Lemon welcomed the billionaire founder of Tesla to his inaugural program. Musk accepted, and the interview took place on Tuesday with no constraints.

Lemon mentioned that his questions were “respectful and wide ranging,” covering subjects that ranged from SpaceX to the presidential election.

“We had a good discussion,” Lemon stated in a message on X. “Clearly he felt differently. His dedication to a global town square where all questions can be asked and all ideas can be shared seems not to include questions of him from people like me.”

In a post that was shared but no longer visible on Musk’s X account, the entrepreneur criticized Lemon’s conduct during the interview.

“His approach was essentially ‘CNN but on social media,’ which is ineffective, as demonstrated by the decline of CNN,” Musk wrote. “And, instead of it being the genuine Don Lemon, it was actually just Jeff Zucker speaking through Don, hence lacked authenticity.”

Zucker is the former CNN chief who advanced Lemon’s career at the cable news channel.

Musk’s post added that Lemon is still welcome to utilize the X platform to establish viewership for his new program.

Lemon had a largely successful 17-year tenure at CNN, during which he transitioned into more of a commentator in the latter part of his time there. The network achieved its highest ratings in 2020 when Lemon hosted the 10 p.m. time slot.

After CNN became part of Warner Bros. Discovery in 2022, the network brought in Chris Licht to lead the news channel with a directive to shift it more toward the political center and showcase more Republicans.

Lemon, a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump, was removed from his prime-time role in 2022 and placed on a new morning program after being a solo host for years. Many at CNN believed he was being set up to fail.

Lemon was dismissed on April 24, 2023. He received the remaining portion of his CNN salary, estimated to be around $20 million, and started exploring the podcast space for his next venture.

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